Galway project among main winners in Social Enterprise Development Fund

Pictured left to right at the presentation of the Social Enterprise Development Fund Award to the Galway based Meals4Health project, are Brendan McGrath (Galway city manager), George Jones (chair of IPB Insurance), Jacquie Horan (CEO COPE Galway), Geraldine Ryan (executive chef COPE Galway Community Catering), and John Evoy (Social Innovation Fund Ireland). Photo:- Jason Clarke

Pictured left to right at the presentation of the Social Enterprise Development Fund Award to the Galway based Meals4Health project, are Brendan McGrath (Galway city manager), George Jones (chair of IPB Insurance), Jacquie Horan (CEO COPE Galway), Geraldine Ryan (executive chef COPE Galway Community Catering), and John Evoy (Social Innovation Fund Ireland). Photo:- Jason Clarke

Galway based social enterprise project, Meals4Health, is one of the eight national winners, chosen from more than 100 applications, of the €1.6 million Social Enterprise Development Fund.

Meals4Health is a new social enterprise being developed by COPE Galway, led by Geraldine Ryan, executive chef of COPE Galway Community Catering, and Sharon Fitzpatrick, head of development at COPE Galway. It provides fresh ready meals for older people in their own homes, with the aim of giving them independence and dignity in choosing their own meals. The meals are created in accordance with best practice in clinical nutrition that addresses individual needs and supports older people with prevention and recovery from illness, the promotion of health and wellbeing, and by helping to reduce social isolation.

The eight winners, announced by Brendan McGrath, chief executive of Galway City Council, were Meals4Health, MyMind, GIY GROWBox, Ó Cualann Cohousing Alliance, The Shona Project, Sensational Kids, Social Farming Ireland, and Sailing Into Wellness. Each will receive a grant of €50,000 and a place on Ireland’s Accelerator Programme for social enterprises. The investment will enable the growth of Meals4Health and extend its availability of and access throughout Ireland.

The Social Enterprise Development Fund was established to support social enterprises to achieve their goals and create measurable social impact that can be scaled all over Ireland. The €1.6 million fund, created by Social Innovation Fund Ireland in partnership with Local Authorities Ireland, is supported by IPB Insurance and the Department of Rural and Community Development from the Dormant Accounts Fund.

The Accelerator Programme is run in partnership with Local Authorities Ireland and provides intensive, expert, and bespoke supports for social enterprises to hone their social impact, business skills, and accelerate their growth.

"Social Enterprises hold the key to creating sustainable communities across Ireland and today’s awardees are excellent examples of how social enterprises such as theirs are achieving these goals," said Mr McGrath. "We are delighted to partner with Social Innovation Fund Ireland in creating this invaluable fund and to host this inspiring event today.”

For more information on the Social Enterprise Development Awardees see www.socialinnovation.ie/social-enterprise-development

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